Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wednesday's Storm

A strong storm system will affect our area Wednesday with widespread rainfall likely, and maybe even out first chance of snowflakes Wednesday night. This strong storm system will likely develop over Kansas and strengthen as it crosses the border into Missouri Wednesday night. This will likely bring our first widespread rainfall in over 2 months. Take a look at the precipitation forecast map below:

This the total storm surface precipitation forecast (60 hours) from the 06z GFS. This is forecasting most of the area to receive 0.5" to 1.5" of rain from this system. And as mentioned above, it has been over 2 months since we have had anything similar to this. The rain should begin during the day Wednesday and there will likely be some embedded thunderstorms. As a result, some locations will likely get more rainfall than expected. The other question I am trying to answer is , will it be cold enough for a change over to snow? I touched a bit on this in the previous blog yesterday. The storm should be pretty strong and intensifying as it begins crossing the state line into Missouri. The storm's strength will decide weather the column of air will be cold enough to produce some snow. Take a look at the next map below:

This is the GFS forecast 500mb flow for Wednesday morning. The storm is just beginning to form today, and by Wednesday morning the storm will begin to get its act together in southern Colorado. This will set the stage for a Winter Storm acrossparts of Wyoming, Colorado, the Nebraska Panhandle, and Western Kansas. Numerous Winter Storm Warnings and Watches are currently in place through these areas. over in our area, moisture is being pulled in from the Gulf of Mexico, and as the storm continues to progress and intensify toward us Wednesday, organized areas of rain with embedded thunderstorms will develop during the day.

The map above is the 500mb flow around 1 AM Thursday morning as the storm moves toward the state line. As it does so it will likely intensify. As you can the trough axis with the strong vorticity maximum is working toward the state line. At this time the upper level low is likely about to close off. If it does so, this would lead to an even more organized area of precipitation. But will any of this be snow? The NAM model has been consistently showing it to get cold enough for a change over to snow with some possible light accumulations. The GFS has been consistent in showing now snow for our area. It is still too early to make a prediction on weather it will snow or not, but there is a notable chance for our first snowflakes of the season.

Today will be a very nice day. we are on the warm side of the developing storm system, and temperatures should be in the 70's throughout the area. Enjoy it while it lasts, the big change comes tomorrow.

Alex Pickman 


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